Thomas Wolfe once wrote that time is a river. It certainly is....swift flowing, fraught with perilous currents and we're always farther downstream than we realize, or want to be. We emerge from the womb and climb into the life vessel and hold on for dear life. And the heart breaking truth is that we lose so many fellow and familial passengers along the way.
Our families; our mother and father, our uncles and aunts, our older siblings...they stand guard to protect the young, and in doing so, stand as sentinels on the most perilous of perches of the swift moving vessel. Soon, a lifetime of caring, a lifetime of enduring the buffering winds sweep them over the side and they are lost to us, seemingly forever.
And then it is our time to endure the buffering, to pass on our knowledge of the river, of the dangers at every turn to our own young. And we must do this even as the vessel gathers momentum, threatening to heave us into the river before we are ready. But time waits for no man and it will not wait for us.
But even as we are buffeted by the storms we can now hear the voices of all those we once loved, the ones who have gone before. Where once we were so busily fighting the currents we could not hear the voices of the past above the roar of the river. But now we hear the voices of the loved ones who have passed with great clarity. They speak to us in soothing whispers and bid us not to fear the river, even as it promises to carry us away from those whom we love dearly.
The ancient ones visit us at night in our dreams. They caress our weathered brow and promise joyous reunion soon...in whispers as soft as cotton ball clouds and silken robes.
And we are fortified to endure another day on the river, knowing that one more jounce over the rapids will send us careening into the great unknown.
So we revel in those rare moments of calm, when we are afforded the luxury of hugging and kissing our young and telling them how dearly we love them. And we say a quiet prayer that our love will be enough, that their fates may carry them safely through the river's violent turns, that they may arrive at last to a calming sea...and our eternal love will wash over them and bring them peace.
And if there is enough love our night whispers and tender caresses will calm and soothe them, even amidst the raging waters of time.